Holiday 2012: Ultrabooks

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Ultrabooks are more than just glorified netbooks or tablets with keyboards attached to them. They don’t sacrifice performance just to fit in your book bag. While Ultrabooks are usually less than an inch thin when closed and typically weigh anywhere between 3 and 4 pounds, they still house powerful Intel Core processors to give you the performance you need. They also usually have some sort of solid-state drive, whether it's the entire hard drive or just an additional cache. Solid-state drives help Ultrabooks with boot times as well as to instantly return from sleep mode. Ultrabooks find that perfect balance between fast, reliable performance and ultraportability.


Acer

The Acer Aspire S Series S3-391-6407 13.3” Ultrabook Computer is one smart choice. It measures 0.7” thin and weighs less than 3 pounds. It also features a champagne finish for a stylish look. For Internet access, you can use 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi for wireless connectivity. This Acer Aspire Ultrabook has Bluetooth 4.0 technology so you can connect to your favorite peripherals. The Acer Aspire Ultrabook houses a 1.5 GHz Intel Core i3-2377M processor with 4GB of DDR3 RAM for reliable performance. For storage, this Acer Aspire Ultrabook houses a 128GB solid-state drive for fast boot times and reliable durability. When it comes to its display, the Aspire Ultrabook has a 13.3” HD CineCrystal glossy display with LED backlighting and a 16:9 aspect ratio. The 1366 x 768 native resolution is powered by integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000 for playing HD video content.

The Acer Aspire S Series S7-391-9886 13.3” Ultrabook Computer fully embraces Windows 8 by providing you with a 13.3” HD widescreen capacitive touch screen. The capacitive touch screen allows you to use the multi-touch gestures found in Windows 8. The screen also functions as a regular screen as well. It has LED backlighting, a 16:9 aspect ratio and Full HD 1920 x 1080 native resolution so you’ll be able to play your favorite 1080p video content natively. You’ll integrate touch, keyboard and touchpad navigation seamlessly for an immersive computing experience. You can also use a wireless mouse via Bluetooth 4.0. For Internet access, this Acer Aspire Ultrabook uses 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi. Housed inside its 0.5” thin chassis is a 1.9 GHz Intel Core i7-3517U processor with 4GB of onboard DDR3 RAM for efficient performance. It also has a rugged 256GB solid-state drive.

All Acer Ultrabooks mentioned above are running the Windows 8 operating system. Windows 8 replaces the Start menu with the Start screen filled with live tiles. Live tiles are icons that update with information in real time. Windows 8 also puts an emphasis on multi-touch gestures (for S7-391-9886 only), cloud storage and app support via the Windows Store.

Dell

The Dell XPS13-1500SLV 13.3” Ultrabook Computer and the Dell XPS13-2501SLV 13.3” Ultrabook Computer are virtually identical. They both have 8GB of DDR3 RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive and a 13.3” HD widescreen display with a 16:9 aspect ratio and 1366 x 768 native resolution, powered by integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000. They both connect wirelessly to the Internet via 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and support wireless peripherals using Bluetooth 3.0 technology. They both run the Windows 8 operating system.

The one major difference between the two is that the XPS13-1500SLV houses a 1.7 GHz Intel Core i5-3317U processor, while the XPS13-2501SLV houses a 1.9 GHz Intel Core i7-3517U processor. The Intel Core i5-3317U can be over-clocked up to 2.6 GHz, while the Intel Core i7-3517U can be over-clocked up to 3.0 GHz, thanks to Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 technology.

ASUS

When it comes to Ultrabooks, some people want a touch screen to fully utilize Windows 8, while others want to stick with a traditional laptop screen. ASUS decided, why not both? The ASUS TAICHI 21 DH51 11.6” Ultrabook Computer and the ASUS TAICHI DH71 11.6” Ultrabook Computer have dual screens. Yes, you read that right. They each have two screens. There's a regular 11.6” Full HD widescreen IPS display, like a regular Ultrabook computer, but there is also has a secondary 11.6” Full HD widescreen capacitive touch screen located behind the first screen, resting on the outer lid. Both screens have Full HD 1920 x 1080 native resolutions which means you can play 1080p content natively without the need to upscale. Also, both screens can be operated independently from each other so two people can be using the TAICHI at the same time. You can also use it as a tablet by closing the lid of the TAICHI and using the touch screen.

As for the specs, the DH51 has a 1.7 GHz Intel Core i5-3317U processor with 4GB of onboard DDR3 RAM and a 128GB solid-state drive. The DH71 has a 1.9 GHz Intel Core i7-3517U processor with 4GB of DDR3 RAM and a 256GB solid state drive. Both connect wirelessly to the Internet via 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and can use Bluetooth 4.0 technology to connect with peripherals wirelessly.

Lenovo

The Lenovo IdeaPad U310 13.3” Ultrabook Computer is an Ultrabook computer perfectly capable of meeting your everyday needs. Measuring 0.7” thin and weighing 3.75 pounds, the IdeaPad U310 is definitely thinner and lighter than most traditional notebook computers. You’ll be able to surf the Web wirelessly through 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and the USB 3.0 port affords fast transfer speeds. The IdeaPad U310 houses a 1.8 GHz Intel Core i3-3217U processor with 4GB of DDR3 RAM, which lets you multitask efficiently between applications. It also has a 500GB 5400 rpm hard drive and a 24GB solid-state drive cache for fast boot times. The 13.3” HD widescreen display features LED-backlighting for better energy efficiency. The screen also has a 16:9 aspect ratio and 1366 x 768 native resolution powered by integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000 so you’ll be able to watch HD video content with ease.

Your Feedback

Have you recently purchased an Ultrabook? Do you think Ultrabooks sacrifice too much performance for ultraportability? How does Windows 8 perform on your Ultrabook? Let us know in the Comments section, below.